First Wind Holdings Investment

Is First Wind's New Joint Venture Worth $3 Billion?

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted June 18, 2012

This just in from First Wind. . .

First Wind Holdings, LLC (First Wind) and Emera Inc. (TSX: EMA) announced today the closing of their transaction to jointly own and operate wind energy projects in the Northeast U.S. through a new company called Northeast Wind Partners.

First Wind’s 385 Megawatt (MW) portfolio of wind energy projects in the Northeast U.S., including eight operating projects in three states, have been transferred to Northeast Wind Partners. First Wind retains 51 percent and Emera now owns 49 percent of the new company. First Wind will serve as the managing partner and will continue to operate the wind energy projects. Emera affiliate Emera Energy Services will provide energy management services. First Wind will exclusively manage the development business and as such continue to develop new wind projects in the Northeast. Once these projects meet certain eligibility criteria, First Wind has the ability to transfer up to an additional 1,200 MW of new projects into the new joint venture.

“Emera’s ongoing business objective is to expand our presence in the Northeastern U.S. and we arepleased to be partnering with First Wind, who is known throughout the region as a premier developer ofquality wind energy projects,” said Chris Huskilson, President and CEO, Emera Inc. “Our First Windpartnership helps Emera establish a meaningful position in the Northeast renewable energy market andis consistent with our corporate strategy. This partnership also allows us to demonstrate ourcommitment to Maine and the region both through existing and anticipated new Maine-basedprojects.”

“This is an exciting partnership for First Wind that will allow us to invest in new, well-sited and well-run wind projects that deliver clean energy to homes and businesses across the Northeast,” said PaulGaynor, CEO of First Wind. “We see an enormous opportunity to continue to deliver cost-effectiveclean, renewable energy so that Northeastern states can meet their important renewable portfoliostandards.

“This transaction will be seamless for the communities where we work, but will mean new investment in the economy,” Gaynor added. “In Emera, we’re also pleased to be partnering with one of the region’sleading energy companies.”

Emera has invested a total of $211 million to acquire 49 percent of Northeast Wind Partners. Inaddition, Emera is making a $150 million loan to an intermediate subsidiary company of Northeast Wind Partners, which will be repaid in five years. Emera will finance this transaction through existing credit facilities.

In the last six years, as First Wind has built 8 projects in the Northeast, more than 1,500 people haveworked on construction of First Wind projects and nearly 100 operations, maintenance, anddevelopment people work full time in the region. The completion of the joint venture could lead to up to $3 billion in future economic investment in the region in the coming years.